16 November 2008

Candlelight Vigil Take 6 - The Calm After the Storm

Updated with some new photos!
Updated again with link to youtube (courtesy of Pahlawan Volunteers) re: PJ anti-I.S.A. vigil
Candlelights: courtesy of PJ Civic Centre

For reasons beyond my control, I wasn't able to participate in last weekend's vigil, which, everyone knows, ended so badly. However, Stephen (in Singapore) and I (in Malaysia) followed the status of the peaceful vigil right up to the point where the 23 arrested were in the police station. While skyping (is that a word?), we were shocked to learn that a harmless vigil of peace-loving people could be made out into something sinister. In all fairness, I didn’t blog about it, as I was not there.

Tonight, however, is a different story. I managed to return from Singapore, just in time, for the 6th PJ vigil. I heard that we weren’t allowed to wear tee shirts nor carry candles. I found it absurd but in life, sometimes we just have to go with the flow. After being alerted around 7.45 pm that only about 30 people were there, my son (driver) decided to cruise by and see if we could lend our support. By the time we got there, the crowd had swelled to perhaps 70 and counting. Even in the first location, people were slowly trickling by with family in tow. Some were even sporting the “infamous” tee shirts. Some also came with their candles. It is heartening to see the spirit of unity and integrity. Many new faces were seen together with the die-hard supporters (too many to name here).

Then the awaited man-of-the-year arrived, Raja Petra together with his ever-loyal wife, Marina. People gravitate to him, even me. I find myself at a loss for words when I see him. There’s so much I want to say but cannot find the words. He’s used to it, I’m sure.

Marina takes a back seat but there is a look of satisfaction to be doing what she does best, standing by for him. I cannot say how pleased I am that she remembers me. She always gives me a hug. I feel I’ve known her for years. Nice feeling!

When we relocated to another area, just two minutes from where we were, people started showing up in droves. Suddenly the group became a crowd and it was impossible to take a picture of the entire group with my HP camera. The usual speeches were made and I didn’t get to hear any of them. It didn’t matter. My objective was to lend my physical presence and that of my son to the “I thought would be less people tonight” vigil. I was so wrong again. The turnout has been the highest of the four that I had participated in. Old friends met up, surprised to see each other there. New friends made contacts. Families came, the young with the old, people from all walks of life. This is the Malaysia that I know and love. This is the Malaysia I remember as I was growing up. Without prejudice for racial background, colour discrimination, or religious ideologies, is how we should meet and greet one another - not only at vigils but every time.

Let’s hope that the people who were present today carry with them the knowledge that we should be able to meet in solidarity "anytime" for those that cannot speak for themselves. I also hope that like me, they will share with others about the peace and harmony in the vigils and that making a difference does not mean being a nuisance.

Enjoy these pictures taken and see if you can stop yourself from smiling when you see the last one!

First location: Haris at work

Second Location: 2 minute walk from where we started
and Haris at work again
The crowd getting bigger by the minute

Loads of cameramen: Highlighting Malaysians at work;
showing up for what they believe in

The speeches!

More speeches!

Happy people exercising their freedom to be
where they want to be.
The bravest couple!

!More speeches 1
More Speeches 2
Why we were there? No I.S.A.
Loud and Clear:
No! No! No! to I.S.A.

The one who stole the limelight. This little cutie pie. I'm sure I saw many taking her picture. Hope they do her better justice than my camera phone.

Peace and out for now, good night Malaysia!

Read more : Shanghaifish, Anil Netto, Haris Ibrahim, Del Capo, Zorro, Sivin Kit, The Whisperer, kkitsam


TheWhisperer said...

Its so much sweeter tonight esp. with that pic of 5 diehard supporters looking jubilant.

Thanks to all who came and make this night very special.

Thanks to you and Jared too.. Your presence always lighten up the atmosphere.

Am speechless till now. This smile never leave my face at all. Wow!!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

thewhisperer: You are definitely in the top 10 diehard supporters. You are everywhere! I'm honoured to be considered diehard eventhough I missed some vigils.

Thanks a million! :)

TheWhisperer said...


Its the passion from the heart that makes a person a diehard supporter. Definitely not by being everywhere or the number of vigil one attended.

We all came in one heart and with one passion. No personal agenda. And that matters most..

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

thewhisperer: I hear you. I agree with you. I believe it is important to do what we can, when we can and how we can but always for the cause and not for any other reason. :)

WTF said...

Hi there, an excellent report on the vigil, keep up the good work.

Power to the people !

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

WTF: Thank you. Nice of you to say so. I like to think that my coverage gives people another perspective to the vigils. Hopefully to draw more for them.


Jarod said...

lita, thanks for the update. Is just felt so warm to see all the people gather again.. oh well, without candle, we can do it as well :)

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Jarod: Hi, did now know you were there. Next time, look for me to say hello okay.

I was with my Jared! :)

Anonymous said...

Lita, Good write up again on your blog and also your 'First' photo is something that's always unique.
Yes, there's always something new I've learned and picked up in every vigil and last nite was no exception.

Finally I got a chance to say Hi to you. Must admit I was lost for words coz of the timing. I thought I'll surprised you till the end of the event, (nice try ha ha.) Nice meeting you.

Yes, last nite was indeed the best 'yet'.Had a little trouble trying to cover the entire event like a 'pro' later to realised emmm.. Im still an amateur.

Till we meet again next week,
same time,
same place,
same spirit,
same smile!!
same objective!!
Abolish ISA!!!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Rakyat@work: The pleasure of meeting you is all mine. Thanks for some exclusive photos. Very kind of you!

Looking forward to seeing you again!

Cheers! :)

Jarod said...

Lita, i was not there... That is why i read here for update. Will surely look for u :)

peng said...

So you are Lita, Zorro introduced us. As usual, I was at a loss for words when meeting a new face. Anyway, the people there overwhelmed me. It's great to see so many like-minded people despite our differences!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Peng: Yes, I remember you, SYT. Glad I said hello to Zorro just as you were standing there.

Same like you, I also find it hard to say too much with new found friends.

Hopefully in time, we'll be more comfortable. :)

zorro said...

Lita, you da woman....making it back in time for the 6th. Jared is a lucky and good son.

Kopi37 said...

Good job, winner never quit! Let's see how many times the Gestapo can clampdown on us, after the 1st clampdown on the 6th vigil in Penang last Saturday, I am going to attend the next one again. The more repressive, the more resilient we become! This is the way we demonstrate to them that we mean business!......................

Slug it out until ISA is removed! Cheers!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Zorro: I'm da woman! Now who am I to argue with you!!!!


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Kopi37: Good on ya! I could feel your enthusiasm! Thanks for dropping by.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lita, hope we can meet up next sunday :) Keep it up continues the fight against ISA!!!!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

kkitsam: Thanks for the tip. Looking forward to seeing you too.


Pat Lu said...

Here's Part 1 of 6 of PJ Vigil.
Comments by RPK, Bernard Khoo and a couple of senior citizens
Stay tuned for the rest in the process of being uploaded... my connection very slow lah. :( Feel free to share, no permission required. Cheers!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Pat Lu: That's very generous of you. Thank you very much. Will watch it shortly.


Pat Lu said...

Here's a video, Part 1 of 6 of the PJ Vigil.
Comments by RPK, Bernard Khoo and a couple of senior citizens

Stay tuned for the rest in the process of being uploaded.
Feel free to share, no permission required. :)

With love from Pahlawan Volunteers
"Negara Kita Tanggungjawab Kita"
– From conviction to action

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Hey Pat Lu: I'm trying to add it to my blog post. Hope I can do it!

Thanks a million! :)

Pahlawan said...

Yikes, sorry Lita, didn't realize I posted Part 1 of 6 twice. :p

Here's Part 2 of 6

My broadband connection is slow. It's taking ages for the rest to be uploaded :((